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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 73 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Useless Traits?  (Read 12111 times)
Transit
Member

Posts: 23


« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2005, 03:06:03 PM »

If the character kills Brother Zachariah, can he "sell" that Relationship for its dice? What are the rules for ending a relationship? Is it easier (or even more difficult) if that person is dead? hmm..

To me it would be too easy to let a character just "forget" the relationship he had with someone - especially someone he killed, and have that relationship disappear without a trace, and have the player get free dice out of the bargain.

Just because Brother Zach is dead, doesn't mean the relationship is over.  (And depending upon how "supernatural" your game gets, just because Brother Zach is dead doesn't mean his ghost won't be comin' round a'gunnin for some payback.)

Rather than the relationship ending, I would think that killing someone might make the relationship an even stronger part of the character.  (i.e.the guilt/regret/joy/whatever the character feels from killing Brother Zachariah stays with the character, and affects the way he deals with others for the rest of his life.)

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fmac
Member

Posts: 10


« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2005, 03:19:12 PM »

I think the fact that you're stuck with the relationships you have is part of what makes them work. It adds tactical depth to the game; you can take a relationship with someone for dice, but you're not getting those dice back for other things. If you care enough about a conflict to take those dice, then your character cares enough about someone that it's going to stick with them.

It also makes a situation where a veteran dog starts running out of relationship dice, and is only gaining new ones through fallout (complicated relatioships, at that) and experience. That's cool, because you can tie that into in-game events. So you have a Dog who's been around for a while, developed relationships with certain people; help some, left some of behind, buried some, shot a couple and left them for dead in the cruel desert sun. After a while, it gets harder for the Dog to say, "this person is important to me, as an individual." What does *that* mean for the character? That they're burning out, having seen too much already, losing the ability to empathize with their charges? That they start investing experience in relationships to show that they're still connecting?

Imagine a conflict against a sorcerer where a Dog have to Give because he's used everything else, and doesn't have a relationship die left to assign. What's *that* say?

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Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2005, 06:35:33 PM »

That's a Dog that's ready to retire, I think.

A nice, long rest.
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"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
Neal
Member

Posts: 143


« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2005, 08:20:14 AM »

Some suggestions for other "universally applicable" traits:

*Snipped* some very funny stuff...

I had an NPC with the Trait "Just can't be shot: 2d6."  The NPC was supposed to be a veteran of some nebulous Indian war or another, and had come through without being shot.  Of course, I rolled those dice in play, getting a 2 and a 3, and one of my players shot the crap out of that NPC.  So much for that.

The other side of this is the Trait that just sits there and stares up at you, challenging you to find a way to use it:

"I happen to know for a fact that chinchillas are generally nocturnal: 1d6"

"How come the soles of your feet always itch when you have boots on?: 1d4"

"Is that broth I smell?: 2d8"

"Every state has a capitol city, and I've memorized them all: 2d10"

"That old guy in the park sure plays a mean game of checkers: 3d6"

"When the wind is southerly, I can tell a hawk from a handsaw: 2d8"

"I used to think 'lugubrious' meant something like 'wet and squishy,' you know, like a 'lugubrious' bowl of Yorkshire pudding, but I have since learned otherwise, to my everlasting sorrow: 3d10"

The worst thing is, there's probably not a person reading this post who hasn't already thought, "No, I could probably find a way to bring that one into play."  That's the danger of useless Traits.  They're like George Carlin's leftovers; someone's going to feel personally challenged to find a use for them.

GM: "With a crack of powder and a cloud of smoke, he fires his ancient fowling piece at you.  My Raise is 12 to you."
Player: "Ah, back home, we had an ancient fowling piece just like that one.  Pa would sometimes take it down and clean it while Ma made supper.  I still remember those suppers: the fresh biscuit, the good brown gravy, and ooooh, the broth.  That rich chicken stock with the green onions and the herbs.  That broth always makes me think of home, gives me the courage to fight on when I think I can't fight anymore.  Wait.  (Shooka, shooka.  Clatter, clatter.)  Is that broth I smell?"
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fmac
Member

Posts: 10


« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2005, 02:31:34 PM »

"I happen to know for a fact that chinchillas are generally nocturnal: 1d6" "Well, we know the boy was taken during the night . . . So it just might've been chinchillas. I'm going to find some tracks, and if it's chinchilla prints we'll know for sure. I raise with 6."

"How come the soles of your feet always itch when you have boots on?: 1d4" "I take the blow. I don't have a comeback for that, so I'll shake out my boot to avoid making eye contact while I think. There must be a rock in there or something!"

"Is that broth I smell?: 2d8" Already taken care of. ;)

"Every state has a capitol city, and I've memorized them all: 2d10" "You think you know better than me, boy? You think you're pretty smart? Well then tell me, what's the capital of Maine? I know. How 'bout you? Guys, think that counts as a Reversal?"

"That old guy in the park sure plays a mean game of checkers: 3d6" Now, we could settle this with guns . . . But I don't think you want to die, any there's another option. You folks got a checker board around here? Okay, so do you figure checkers counts as physical? How 'bout speed checkers? I really want to get that 5d6 out . . .

"When the wind is southerly, I can tell a hawk from a handsaw: 2d8" Okay, I have no idea what's going on here. Let's time lapse a couple days, until the wind is southerly. Then I'll have it figured out. Dodge!

"I used to think 'lugubrious' meant something like 'wet and squishy,' you know, like a 'lugubrious' bowl of Yorkshire pudding, but I have since learned otherwise, to my everlasting sorrow: 3d10" "I understand your sorrow, Sister Marah. You and that husband of yours, me and 'lugubrious,' like 'wet and squishy' . . . We both know what it's like to have the things we thought we knew turned upside down. You're not alone. I raise 15 - she can't deny that!

I just looked over my players' character sheets, and there is actually one trait on there - between the three of them - that hasn't been used yet. That's "We're all family: 2d6." Funny, I didn't expect it to be so elusive.
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dunlaing
Member

Posts: 308

My name is Bill


« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2005, 08:28:28 AM »

"I happen to know for a fact that chinchillas are generally nocturnal: 1d6" "Well, we know the boy was taken during the night . . . So it just might've been chinchillas. I'm going to find some tracks, and if it's chinchilla prints we'll know for sure. I raise with 6."

Those would be some big-ass chinchillas. Frankly, if I came into a town and there were chinchillas big enough to drag off boys, I might just decide then and there that this whole town done gone wrong and we are gonna need another box of bullets.

My chinchilla is pretty big for a chinchilla, and at best, I think he could drag off a pizza crust.
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